If we could use leadership in any place most, I can think of few places more important than in understanding what is happening with our environment, energy, and how it will affect us, meaning the economy.
Some conclude that since before Revelations through Malthus and beyond people have been predicting the end of the world, yet the world hasn’t ended, we have solved all problems before and we’ll solve whatever problems come.
For many reasons I disagree. I’d go into my main reasons, and in a future post I may, but Limits to Growth explains the reasons better than I could.
I just finished watching a series of videos by another guy with a science PhD and MBA, Chris Martenson, on the subject of what is happening with our environment, energy, and how it will affect us, meaning the economy. I found it compelling, informative, and easy to understand. I recommend watching his “crash course” in the subject.
I found he combined the concepts effectively so we can understand what’s coming. I don’t have kids, but I can’t understand how anyone with kids — presumably what they care about most — could not find learning this stuff more compelling than anything else.
He doesn’t try to judge things, only describe the evidence and trends, which I find makes his presentation more effective. Having just finished the last chapter, I only wish the course talked about what we can do next besides how to protect ourselves and raise awareness. I expect most people would agree with his assessment overall and that few leaders today, especially in the U.S., are doing anything effective to help.
A situation where many people agree but people with money and political power are doing nothing or acting against their interests seems ripe for a Martin Luther King or Gandhi type leader to influence government, all the more so when the people with money and political power belong to a dramatically different group than those directly affected. With King, the leaders were rich and white while the people looking to gain rights were largely poor and black. Gandhi represented Indian Muslims and Hindus facing white Christian British.
In the case of our environment, economy, and energy our political leaders are old — mostly so old they are sure to die before seeing serious consequences of problems — while the people most affected are the youngest. I know I calculate my age when serious problems hit and sigh relief when I realize I’ll probably miss them, but I still care. I have nieces and nephews a generation younger. People who don’t understand nature… well, I guess they prefer blissful ignorance to understanding how they are affecting the lives of their children.
The situation suggests an opportunity for a leader to make a difference — someone young enough to care, but old enough to have experience to understand how people and societies change and status to be heard; who understands nature enough to understand the situation, but has social skills enough to persuade effectively; who has achieved enough to be important, but has enough time to commit to the cause.
Anyway, check out Martenson’s series of short videos on the subject.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
- Step by step instructions
- Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
- An excerpt from my book